Boris Johnson began the week by opening up about his recent battle with his weight and his new found passion for running, in an effort to inspire the rest of the country to get in shape amid findings that suggest Britain has one of the largest overweight populations in Western Europe.
The Prime Minister was also the subject of comments from the outgoing editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, who this week alleged that his absence on the BBC show the morning after his election victory was a form of punishment from the Government.
Away from Mr Johnson, it has been a week since mandatory face masks were introduced in most shops across the country – and yet, the decision has caused so much upset that a new movement has been spawned, known as the 'anti-maskers'.
Read on for what our readers had to say about these issues, as well as more in this week’s round-up. Let us know what you made of this week’s events in the comments section below.
Telegraph columnist Nick Timothy delved into the deeper societal issue behind Britain’s obesity crisis , which had our readers sharing their own suggestions on how the NHS can play their part in helping to tackle the issue.
'If you have a BMI over 30, then no free NHS treatment'
"I will keep saying this until I am blue in the face. Every doctor's surgery has a set of scales. If you have a BMI over 30, then no free NHS treatment. It's so easy, minimum cost to the taxpayer and a saving to the NHS of £15bn per annum as it would put an end to obesity and type 2 diabetes."
'Lockdown has meant that more people are being condemned to serious health issues’
"Forget diet, as important as it is. Lockdown has meant that all team sports, not just PE in school have ceased. Instead of having football, cricket, rugby etc the Government and its scientific advisers decided to isolate children within their houses in front of a screen and then had the audacity to claim that this ‘new normal’ was good for them?!
"The ticking time bombs keep ticking whilst we keep digging a deeper and deeper hole for ourselves to save pretty much no one from an endemic disease whilst condemning many, many more to early deaths and serious health issues down the line. When is someone/anyone going to acknowledge this?"
'The NHS is there to help us, not vice versa'
“Health conditions connected to weight problems cost the NHS around £6 billion per year. The NHS has become an institution in all the worst ways. Now it is not about the Institutions’ purpose, it is about saving the institution money or effort or really having anything to do with us at all apart from taking our money. It has become too big to fail. Then failed.
“This is backwards. The NHS is there to help us, not vice versa. The NHS is not fit for purpose and should be very wary of getting involved in this sort of nitty gritty aspects of people’s lives. The bureaucrats may not like the unintended consequences of their actions.”
Sarah Sands, the outgoing editor of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, claimed that the Government's apparent boycott of the programme was an attempt to take control , which did not succeed. Our readers have their say on the future of the BBC’s flagship morning programme.
'Her programme had lost all credibility'
"I gave up listening to the Today program many years ago because it had become based to the left and less than objective. Sarah Sands should realise that her programme had lost all credibility for many of its listeners. Some were angry and stayed with it but more just left. What made us angry was that the BBC was supposed to be impartial."
'Political news should be presented in an apolitical way'
"I gave up on the Today program when Conservative Party leader David Cameron was interrupted about 20 times during an interview with Ms Montague during a general election campaign. I never went back.
"I’ve now given up on LBC as their impartiality is also now lost. Political news should be presented in an apolitical way to be of any use to an audience of many and varied political persuasions. Why can’t the BBC understand this simple fact. I do not want to pay the TV tax for what is no more than an attempt at brainwashing. The government understands that large numbers of us loathe the BBC. That is progress as I can vote."
'What is the BBC's future?'
"I used to be an avid supporter and watcher of the BBC. Not any more. It has become odiously woke, with a very few exceptions, and basically unwatchable. They have decided to bin their previously loyal audience for a bunch of woke millennials who can’t put their phones down and the generation following don’t watch TV at all. So, soon to be irrelevant, rather like the Today programme."
With spikes of cases popping up across Europe, the Government is under more pressure to adapt the travel quarantine to make returning home easier for travellers . As a result, the travel quarantine was slashed down from 14 to ten days. Our readers, however, remain unhappy with the Government’s indecisive stance on the travel quarantine.
'Perhaps we could learn a few lessons from Sweden'
"Sweden is one of the few countries whose case numbers are still heading down. It's almost as if they have done something different which works.
"Perhaps we could learn a few lessons from them as to how to live with Covid long term, as Tegnell said, you need to look at the long term. Their economy is still functioning, their health service is up and running, their schools have been open. But that would rely on other governments swallowing their pride and changing tack."
'This quarantine is an act of folly by our Government'
"During the peak of the pandemic, we let in thousands of people, no doubt increasing Covid cases in our country. This quarantine is an act of folly by our Government, who are clearly completely confused, making decisions on the hoof.
"It is though they need to redeem themselves from their past totally inadequate governance, by overreaction now, causing chaos to us all, rather like the mask wearing fiasco!"
The charity Age UK has warned that pensioners could be in danger of paying for their TV license fee twice due to confusion over new rules. This Saturday, free licences for over-75's are due to come to an end – which suggests that officers from Capita, the firm responsible for collecting license fees, will soon be contacting elderly people to ensure payment.
The unnecessary stress that Capita places on older people over this issue is something that hasn't sat well with our readers. Taking to our comments section, readers shared their displeasure with the firm as well as the BBC.
'Change is needed'
"I haven’t paid for 6 months because I haven’t watched TV for 6 months. Hardly watched it except a bit of sport before. I still get aggressive red letters telling me I am under investigation.
"I am angry though that in order to not fund the once loved and now so out-of-touch BBC, I have had to cut myself off from all the other TV channels, which seems quite unjust. Change is needed."
'Capita are bullies'
"Capita are out and out bullies. They are salesmen on commission and have no compunction at all about bullying vulnerable people and easy targets. People need to warn elderly or vulnerable relatives not to engage with them and there is a very easy and sensible protocol. If they know already that a caller is from Capita, do not under any circumstances open the door.
"There is no legal obligation to engage and it is not in anybody’s interests except the salesmen’s to do so. If they open the door to an unknown caller, they should, before answering a single question, insist the caller identifies themselves. Capita agents won’t do so. They will insist the householder first identifies themselves. This is a clear red flag. Close the door immediately. In the unlikely event that they do show ID, close the door. That’s all anyone needs to do. Please make sure your elderly loved ones know this vital safety information."
'The BBC is so poor, that it's not worth the money'
"For me there are three points that I find unsettling. Firstly the BBC have reneged on their agreement with the government to exclude the over 75’s from requiring a TV licence. Secondly, it’s a sad indictment on the sixth richest country in the world that we can’t provide a free TV licence to the elderly who are facing loneliness as their partners, friends and peers depart this world. Thirdly, the overall principle that the quality, impartiality and standard of programmes from the BBC is so poor that it’s not worth the money."
As new mask guidelines came into action this week , Telegraph readers have been sharing stories of how shops in their local communities have been affected by the face mask rule, splitting opinions in the process.
'Unconvinced about the case for masks'
"Wholly unconvinced about the case for masks. Non-medical masks are proven unhygienic after first contact. Filthy things, now turned into instruments of social control and virtue-signalling.
"The damaging impact on stores is obvious. A nearby large bookshop making a good recovery after reopening was shaken to the core last Saturday following its mandatory masks postings – a collapse in numbers of customers all that day. On Sunday, the manager simply and quietly removed the postings – and the shop resumed its rightful recovery."
'Anti-maskers are selfish and discourteous'
"Rightly or wrongly, the law requires masks to be worn in certain situations. Apart from that, it is common courtesy to wear one for the peace of mind it gives to those who think it does some good. And that really is the issue, people in this country have become so selfish and discourteous that they don’t care about the law and about their effect on other people. Anti-maskers may think they are standing up for individual liberty, but in reality they are just selfish and discourteous."
'I will not be in any shops until this idiocy ends'
"I will wear a mask, reluctantly, in the supermarket because I need to shop for food. I don’t consider myself selfish or any of the other insults thrown at people who refuse to wear masks. The reason I don’t agree with mask wearing is because I don’t believe it makes the slightest difference to the infection rate. We have gone about our business for 4 months without masks, getting the infection rates down using a combination of distancing and hand washing, both very effective.
“In all this time I have seen not one person either cough or sneeze inside a supermarket and having spoken to the staff they have had no infections amongst their workmates. I shopped yesterday and rushed around as fast as I could, with a list, spending about half what I normally would. I also noticed a distinct lack of social distancing as people think the mask will protect them. This is a backward step. I will not be going in any other shops until this idiocy ends.”
For more ways to have your say and get involved, visit the Telegraph Community Hub
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